Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was raised in Chesterton, and after graduating high school, I received my degree from Purdue. I then moved to Phoenix for a few years, and when I relocated back, I joined Starin. Bada bing, bada boom.
What was it about Starin that drew you to us?
I was a referral by a long-time friend (we’re talking youth basketball trophies here), and as I was going through the interviewing process, I was told of the culture, direction, and attributes of Jim Starin and what he had built this company upon. After I was hired I could see those qualities demonstrated throughout the company and thought, yeah, I can get behind this!
How long have you been in the AV industry?
Just over two years and still learning as AV continues to evolve. This industry is accelerating so rapidly, it’s exciting to see what’s next!
What hardware are you recommending for video conferencing these days?
Zoom has already changed the way people are meeting, and this is not going to stop. Numbers don’t lie, and Zoom’s growth has truly put it in a class of its own. The hardware recommendations have all come from looking at the application and deciding what the customer needs and wants for the right solution. I’ve seen successful results from Yamaha’s CS-700 Video Soundbar and FLX UC systems, and Logitech’s PTZ Rally, and it doesn’t get much easier than the DTEN D7 Display that is an all-in-one Zoom Room right out of the box. Having a list of certified hardware makes it great to see the strengths in each product when placed in the right setting.
What is your take on AV as a Service (AVaaS)?
Because we are in the unique position of being the gateway between end-user, reseller, and manufacturer, we have another avenue to help anyone, depending on the circumstance. In any situation, it’s always better to have options, so if a company finds itself looking at questions about payment, education, Assurance, and so on, why not provide that flexibility?
It’s great that our industry continues to grow, but with struggles like labor shortages, people continue to find themselves adding more to their plates to keep pace. From our perspective, we have seen those who have utilized AVaaS not just adapt to the market but become more profitable. The key word that clears the fog is service, and internally we view it as another way to help our customers be more dynamic in the way they serve their customers.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working? Hobbies, entertainment, etcetera?
I’ll go hiking, head to the beach—okay the dunes—practice yoga, and follow sports and catch a game, but the biggest would be live music and concerts. Dance like nobody is watching.
Where are you located? The region, not address—we don’t want any crazy stalker action.
Chesterton, Northwest Indiana—that’s the region.
What is your main goal with working with Starin?
I think our mission statement sums it up and breaks it down best: Make the job of the Communications Professional easier and more profitable.
What is a typical day like?
I try to keep the same morning routine. I wake up around 6 a.m. and set aside a good hour and a half to be outside for reading and meditation, though winter can make this difficult sometimes. I start work at 8:30 a.m. and go until about 12:30 p.m. when I take a half-hour lunch. I come back and keep going until 5:00 p.m. or whatever is needed to wrap up the day. Each night of my week is different, but I pretty much stay consistent in what I do. I hardly ever jump into Netflix because I’m mostly being active and on the go.
Who’s your favorite band?
It just depends on the day and what I can vibe to. Last weekend I was at an electronic show seeing Griz, and next weekend I’ll be jamming with Spafford. It could be Greensky Bluegrass, Jurassic 5, Bob Dylan, Tycho, the Talking Heads, Mos Def, or Bela Fleck on any given day. But when trying to decide a favorite, I guess one factor would be that I’ve seen more Phish shows than any other artist.
How would you describe yourself?
I feel like I’m already talking too much about myself.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought we all wanted to be like Mike.
Do you have a favorite color?
A favorite sports team?
A favorite artist?
A favorite vacation spot?
Phoenix in the winter and San Diego in the summer.
What is the biggest benefit people will get from you and Starin when working with you?
Hopefully, it will be the sincerity that I am trying to be as useful and helpful as possible while applying the work ethic I was raised with - doing my best and what’s right each day.
Do you have any pets, and if you do who are they?
Is watering petunias considered having a pet? The real answer is no pets.
Who is your hero?
Too many inspirational people in my life to list, and I don’t want to leave anyone out.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I’ll have to say it out loud—writing it won’t have the same effect.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
I’m trying to learn a new language, and your first guess will probably be wrong.